Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a novel about a man who betrays nature by creating life. Victor Frankenstein, the novel’s protagonist, is a young scientist who creates a creature from dead body parts. The creature is an abomination that is rejected by society. Frankenstein ultimately destroys the creature, but not before it kills Victor’s loved ones.
This story is a cautionary tale about the dangers of playing with nature. Mary Shelley was ahead of her time in warning about the potential consequences of scientific experimentation. Her novel has been interpreted in many ways, but its message about the dangers of tampering with nature remains as relevant today as it was when it was first published.
Victor betrays nature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein by creating the Monster. To create humans, it is not man’s task but rather nature’s. Victor has committed a wrong; he has brought about life after death by creating a monster. When his own creation turns against him, Victor is soon punished for meddling with nature. The monster murders William Frankenstein, Victor’s brother; Henry Clerval, his closest friend; and Elizabeth Lavenza, his fiancée.
The monster also framed Justine for the murder of William. If Victor had not meddled with nature, all of these people would still be alive. Mary Shelley is warning us that we should not try to play God, because it will only lead to disaster.
In response to Victor’s creation of a onster, one without a companion, one rejected by all of civilization, the Monster kills everyone who is nearest to Victor in his life as retribution for Victor’s invention of a monster that lacks a companion. “I resolved to seek that justice which I had formerly sought from any other being who assumed the shape of man” (Frankenstein, p. 136, line 13). It is the loss of Victor’s family that signifies his punishment , according to Verne: “I have never seen such an unhappy individual.”
Mary Shelley uses the death of Victor’s family to not only punish Victor for his crimes against nature, but also as a moral lesson to society. The novel Frankenstein is a story that can be interpreted in many ways, but Mary Shelley’s main purpose was to warn humanity of the dangers of tampering with nature.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a true betrayal of nature. In the novel, Victor Frankenstein creates a monster out of dead body parts and brings it to life through science. The monster is an abomination against nature and is rejected by all of society, including its creator. The monster then goes on to kill everyone that Victor loves in revenge, making Mary Shelley’s point that playing with nature can have deadly consequences.
Mary Shelley uses the death of Victor’s family as a way to not only punish Victor for his actions, but also to warn society of the dangers of tampering with nature. Frankenstein is a story that should be read by all as a cautionary tale about the dangers of playing God.
Victor’s atonement comes in two parts: when he decides to destroy his own work, “I’m going to the ‘land of mist and snow,’ but I won’t murder an albatross, so don’t be concerned for my safety” (Frankenstein, p. 5, line 25), and when the Monster blames Victor and resolves to kill himself. “Cursed creator! Why did I live? ,” says the Monster as he nears death at the end of the novel. The penance is completed by the end of the book, and Victor’s creation is destroyed.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is not simply a tale of horror, but a story that ties in the theme of betrayal. The primary betrayal is Frankensteins’s act of creating life and then denying it companionship. Mary Shelley also uses the idea of Betrayal of Nature to create an overall mood of suspense and terror in her novel.
Betrayal is one of Mary Shelley’s most prominent themes in Frankenstein. The first instance of betrayal comes from Victor himself when he abandons his creation. “I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of my dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart” (Frankenstein, p. 37, line 9). Victor’s change of heart not only betrays his creation, but nature as well. By playing God and creating life, he has gone against the natural order of things.
Another way Mary Shelley uses betrayal is when the Monster kills Clerval. Henry Clerval is Victor’s best friend and closest confidant. The fact that the Monster would kill him shows how truly betrayed Victor feels. “No one can conceive the anguish I suffered during the remainder of the night, which I spent, cold and wet, in the open air” (Frankenstein, p. 95, line 3). This act of violence also reinforces the idea that the Monster is a force of nature that cannot be controlled.
Mary Shelley uses the idea of Betrayal of Nature to create an overall mood of suspense and terror in her novel. One way she does this is by having Victor’s creations, the Monster and Elizabeth, both die at the end. This leaves Victor all alone, which is a very scary prospect. “I thought I saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of health, walking in the streets of Ingolstadt.
Delighted and surprised, I embraced her” (Frankenstein, p. 217, line 9). But it turns out to be only a vision and Elizabeth is actually dead. This creates a feeling of suspense because the reader does not know what is going to happen next.
That is not to say, however, that Victor escaped responsibility for his crime. Victor is plagued by guilt because his creation has caused the death of so many people in his life. In “The Rime of Ancient Mariner,” the mariner betrays nature by murdering the Albatross: “I had killed the bird that made the breeze blow” (AM, p. 0, line 52). Nature is represented by the Albatross. The representation becomes meaningless to him until he sees how things change rapidly after death: “there was no water anywhere; nor any drop to drink” (AM, p. 0, line 02).
Mary Shelley’s grandfather, William Godwin, was an atheist who believed that humans were capable of anything with enough education. Mary grew up reading his work, which included “Political Justice” (1793). In it, he argues that society will eventually do away with private property and government. Mary was influenced by his ideas when she wrote Frankenstein.
The novel is about the dangers of science and technology when used for evil instead of good. Victor Frankenstein creates a creature that is stronger and more intelligent than humans. The creature is rejected by society and turns to violence. Mary Shelley is warning us about the dangers of playing with nature. We are not as smart as we think we are and we could create something that we can’t control.
Finally, the mariner realises the Albatross as a symbol of nature after enduring and losing his entire crew. The mariner receives a suitable punishment when he sees “the rotting sea” and “the rotten deck,” where the dead men lie (AM, p. 18, line 11). After killing the Albatross and losing his crew, the mariner’s sorrow is compounded by having his soul destroyed soon afterwards. “But in the eyes of the dead men, it continued to live for him” ( AM , p. 9, line 6).
The Albatross is a symbol of nature, which the mariner betrayed when he killed it. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is another story that displays a character betraying nature. Frankenstein is a story about a man playing God by creating life, and then abandoning his creation. The creature that Frankenstein created was good at heart, but because he was different and misunderstood, he turned to evil. In the end, Frankenstein pays for his crime against nature with his own life.
Like the mariner in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Frankenstein also receives a sufficient punishment for his actions. Mary Shelley’s stories display the theme of betrayal against nature through the characters’ actions and their corresponding punishments. Although Mary Shelley wrote these stories over two hundred years ago, they are still relevant today. In a time when the environment is being polluted and endangered species are being hunted to extinction, Mary Shelley’s stories act as a reminder of the consequences of betraying nature.
It is only after his suffering that the mariner is absolved by nature and given penance. The mariner suffers punishment through nature, as he says: “I awoke, and we were sailing on as if in a calm day”; it was night, peaceful night with the moon high; (AM 30 8), and he can pray again and begin to restore his spirituality. However, the memories of the Albatross do not leave him. The Albatross around the mariner’s neck is a constant reminder of his mistake.
The mariner realizes that all life is interconnected and by killing the Albatross, he has betrayed nature. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein can be seen as a betrayal of nature because Victor Frankenstein created life, but then abandoned his creation. The creature that Frankenstein created was not given the chance to live a normal life because people were so afraid of him.
The creature was eventually destroyed by Frankenstein himself, furthering the idea that he betrayed nature. In both “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and Frankenstein, there is a sense of betrayal against nature that results in negative consequences. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein shows us that even when we think we are helping Nature, we may actually be harming it.